Numerous news outlets today have covered the infuriating story that a march for women’s rights in Egypt became a site of confrontation, heckling, and even abuse.
As reported by the Associated Press:
“A protest by hundreds of Egyptian women demanding equal rights and an end to sexual harassment turned violent Tuesday when crowds of men heckled and shoved the demonstrators, telling them to go home where they belong.
The women — some in headscarves and flowing robes, others in jeans — had marched to Cairo’s central Tahrir Square to celebrate International Women’s Day. But crowds of men soon outnumbered them and chased them out.
“They said that our role was to stay home and raise presidents, not to run for president,” said Farida Helmy, a 24-year old journalist.”
This is not an isolated incident of assault, violence, or intimidation tactics targeted at women in Egypt- you’ll remember the incident when CBS journalist Lara Logan was beaten and sexually assaulted while covering the aftermath of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation speech. The AP is also reporting that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women in Cairo said they had been harassed — while 62 percent of men admitted to harassing. This is clearly a wider problem than just one woman or one march.
IWHC stands in solidarity with the women of Egypt, and women all over the world who are uniting to stand together for rights and against violence.